Hundreds of Merced schoolchildren helped spruce up their schools in celebration of Arbor Day on Friday, according to district officials.
The tree-planting ceremonies have become an annual tradition for the Merced City School District, which collaborates with the city of Merced to honor trees and educate children.
This year, more than a dozen trees were planted at Muir, Stowell, Chenoweth and Burbank elementary schools, according to a news release. The campuses received either red sunset maples or purple ash trees, which were both selected for their ability to thrive in the local climate.
Merced has marked 36 years as a Tree City USA, a designation from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Merced has about 88,000 public trees.
Merced has about 88,000 public trees, which works out to about one per resident, according city staffers. That does not include trees that residents grow in their backyards or other private areas.
According to the National Arbor Day Foundation, “Arbor Day is an annual observance that celebrates the role of trees in our lives and promotes tree planting and care.”
According to the foundation, Tree City USA status is given to communities that meet four standards of urban forestry management: having a tree board or department, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry and celebrating Arbor Day.